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Website: Build It With PBS!

The PBS Design Squad website, which supports the popular t.v. show of the same name, features 15 cool activities, some of which we’ve featured on this EGFI teachers’ site. From an extreme kicking machine to a ping-pong ball launcher, these challenges will unleash your students’ ingenuity and get them thinking like engineers. Designed for 9-12 year olds, each activity has step-by-step instructions and age-appropriate explanations of the main idea.

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National Lab Day Brings Engineers to the Classroom

national lab day_thumbNational Lab Day, a new nationwide initiative to support project-based learning, is coming in May, 2010. Volunteer science and technology professionals and educators will work together with students to improve America’s science labs and offer inquiry-based STEM experiences in classrooms, learning labs, and after-school programs. Find out how to be a part of it.

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President Unveils STEM Initiative

President Obama has announced a campaign to enlist companies and nonprofits to provide money, time, and volunteer work to encourage students–especially in middle and high school–to become involved in science, technology, engineering and math.

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Website: Connect A Million Minds

The website also challenges parents, after-school program administrators and community members to pledge to connect children in their lives with the wonders of science and math.

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Essay Contest: Biomedical Breakthroughs, (Grades 7 & 8)

The essay contest “Biomedical Breathroughs and My Life” for 7th and 8th grade students in Washington, Oregon, Montana, and Idaho, invites essays on how biomedcial research has impacted, or has the potential to impact, someone students know personally. Entry deadline: Dec. 9, 2009.

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Educators Essay Contest, Dec. 14


This educators’ essay contest asks teachers to share their knowledge on designing science lesson plans and integrating technology into the classroom. Winners gain free admission to the 2010 AAAS Annual meeting, a $800 stipend, and magazine subscription.

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Activity: Electricity in a Brown Bag

In this single-session activity, students in grades 1-5 participate in a hands-on science investigation of electricity. They learn through discovery about how electricity works. Students’ natural curiosity and sense of exploration enable them to explore and learn on their own with minimal input from the teacher.

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Deadline Approaching: Award for Elementary School Teachers

The Sylvia Shugrue Award for Elementary School Teachers honors an “elementary school teacher who has established (or is establishing) an interdisciplinary, inquiry-based lesson plan. The lesson plan will fully reference sources of information and any relevant National Science Education Standards and benchmarks found in the Atlas of Science Literacy.”

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Lesson: Paper Structures

Practicing elementary civil engineering, students in grades 1 through 8 build a portable paper structure able to support the weight of a book. They learn that material strength varies with shape and arrangement.

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